Milwaukee Brewers: building a champion

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Ryan Braun #8, Lorenzo Cain #6 and Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after winning Game 3 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Monday, October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Ryan Braun #8, Lorenzo Cain #6 and Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after winning Game 3 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Monday, October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 13: Jesus Agguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers singles during Game 2 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park on Saturday, October 13, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Brewers—Key Draft Picks and Others

Just three players on the Brewers’ 25-man postseason roster were drafted by the team and these three players account for just five percent of the team’s total WAR. This is the fewest of any team remaining in the playoffs by a significant margin. The team closest to the Brewers is the Dodgers, with 28 percent of their team WAR coming via players they drafted.

OF Ryan Braun (1.1 WAR)—Braun is the longest-tenured Brewer. He was drafted in the first round of the 2005 MLB June Draft (5th pick overall). He’s been a six-time All-Star, won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and an NL MVP Award. He’s also slowed down a bit over the last few years, including this season when he played in just 125 games and hit .254/.313/.469.

RHP Corbin Burnes (0.7 WAR)—Burnes was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but shifted to the bullpen when he was called up to the big leagues this season. He had a 2.61 ERA (3.79 FIP) in 38 innings during the regular season.

RHP Brandon Woodruff (0.3 WAR)—Woodruff was drafted in the 11th round in 2014. After an impressive 2016 season, he was ranked in the top-100 on the Baseball America list prior to the 2017 season (82nd) and again prior to this season (61st). He pitched 85.3 innings combined in 2017 and 2018 and has a 4.22 ERA and 3.84 FIP in his career.

Key Waiver Wire Pick-Up

1B Jesus Aguilar (3.2 WAR)—Aguilar was signed by Cleveland as an international free agent way back in 2007. He played parts of nine seasons and appeared in 953 games in the minor leagues, but never got a significant shot at playing time with the major league club. Cleveland released him prior to the 2017 season. The Brewers added him through waivers and he’s hit .271/.344/.527, with 51 homers and 160 RBI in 282 games with the Brew Crew over the last two seasons. Sometimes it really is true that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

International Free Agent Signing

SS Orlando Arcia (-0.1 WAR)—Arcia was signed out of Venezuela in 2010. He was ranked 94th on the Baseball America top-100 prior to the 2015 season, them moved all the way up to 8th before the 2016 season. This is his third year in the major leagues and he’s struggled with the bat so far, hitting .252/.296/.365 in his career. Of course, after hitting three home runs in 366 plate appearances during the regular season, Arcia hit three home runs in his first 19 postseason plate appearances this year because that’s baseball.

Next. Problem with Brewers bullpen plan. dark

Summary

The Milwaukee Brewers were built through trades and free agent signings. Except for Jesus Aguilar, who proved to be a shrewd waiver wire pick-up in February of 2017, all of their above average players were acquired through trades or signed as free agents. This includes two NL MVP candidates in Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, along with two key members of their bullpen, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress. Those four players, plus Travis Shaw and Jhoulys Chacin, accounted for 68 percent of the WAR produced by the Brewers’ 25-man roster.